WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Energy Subcommittee today held a hearing on several pieces of legislation key to the climate change debate in Congress including Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) “Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology” (IMPACT) Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives climate change legislation this summer. Brown’s IMPACT Act would establish a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help small and mid-sized manufacturers retool and create new jobs.
In response to today’s hearing, which featured testimony from U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Dr. Kristina Johnson, Brown issued the following statement:
“Ohio can lead the nation in manufacturing the clean energy technologies of the future. In Congress, we have the opportunity to develop clean energy policy that makes economic sense. That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to help small and mid-sized manufacturers retool for the clean energy economy and to invest in our nation’s skilled workforce. Growing the clean energy industry means creating new jobs, rewarding business innovation, and rebuilding our middle class.”
The IMPACT Act modernizes the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to expand assistance for small and mid-sized manufacturers and supports their transition to the clean energy economy. By providing the MEP program with $1.5 billion in federal funds over five years, the initiative would help manufacturers diversify and adopt innovative, energy-efficient manufacturing technologies. Brown’s IMPACT Act has received widespread support from thousands of business, labor, and energy leaders including the National Association of Manufacturers. In addition, the Ohio Business Council for a Clean Economy today underscored the importance of investing in clean energy initiatives like Brown’s legislation.
“Providing support to U.S. manufacturing to ensure clean energy jobs are created is a critical component to any clean energy legislation,” Mark Terzola, member of the Ohio Business Council for a Clean Economy and VP of Corporate Affairs for Ohio based Rexorce Thermioinics said. “With leadership from Senator Brown, we have the opportunity to reinvent our manufacturing industry and lead in clean energy production.”
Brown, recently described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American manufacturing,” has been working with his colleagues to ensure clean energy legislation invests in the competitiveness of American manufacturing and provides support to the regions, industries, and consumers that would be most affected by the legislation. Brown led a group of ten Senators this summer in writing a letter to President Obama outlining the need to maintain a level playing field for American manufacturing in any climate change legislation. The senators expressed their support for a border adjustment mechanism and other initiatives that would ensure the future competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.
Since 2007, Brown has held more than 130 roundtables across Ohio meeting with workers and business leaders about how to position Ohio as a leader in the clean energy economy. Over the past year, Brown held three groundbreaking clean energy summits in Ohio, connecting business leaders, manufacturers, and farmers with federal energy officials. In addition to the IMPACT Act, Brown is the author of The Restoring America's Manufacturing Leadership through Energy Efficiency Act of 2009. The bill would create a financing mechanism for businesses that want to adopt new energy efficient technologies to cut costs, save and create jobs, and improve competitiveness.